In conflict, journalists serve an instrumental and critical role in raising awareness of a situation and influencing the international community's humanitarian response to populations affected by crises. However, this role in conflict reporting is increasingly under threat. Because of ongoing, strategic attacks against journalists, the number of media correspondents either willing, or able, to operate in war zones have been greatly reduced. As a result, others such as social media-savvy activists, fighters and governments have stepped in to fill the information void. As journalists disappear from war zones, how does this impact the news we receive about conflicts?
Recently the ICRC and the Australian Red Cross held a panel event, War on Words: Is Journalism Disappearing from Conflict Zones, to address these issues. ICRC director-general Yves Daccord was joined by two of Australia's most well regarded foreign correspondents, Helen Vatsikopoulos, journalist and academic at the University of Technology Sydney, and Peter Cave, retired war correspondent and foreign editor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Dr Caroline Fisher, Assistant Professor in Journalism at the University of Canberra moderated the panel.
Read more about the discussion and highlights of the panel here.